Three days into 2019, one can say that this nation – and perhaps many other nations - are nursing a massive hang over from the Festive Season celebrations. It’s something that is unlikely to be fully cured until next week. Which is expected of course.
Well here we are today on the last day of 2018 Samoa. What a year it has been. As we reflect on the past 12 months, we rejoice in many gloriously wonderful moments, we remember with sadness the tough times and some extremely tragic events that have unfolded before us.
The headline “Chief Justice alarmed at crime targeting Chinese” published on the front page of this newspaper earlier this month raised eyebrows. Not only was it concerning that crime has become a major issue in Samoa, the idea that certain criminals are picking their targets based on race and ethnicity, is extremely frightening. We cannot ignore it.
This much is undeniable. Wherever there is good, evil will be lurking around the corner looking for an opportunity to strike. And in happy times like the festive season, it’s a given that there will always be sour experiences.
The last Parliament session for the year on Monday was very short. As if the cancellation of the session prior to the final sitting of the year was not concerning enough in as far as Parliament’s workload goes, there was obviously no rush from the Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi and the Government to get on with their work – the ones that require them to perform in session.
We are only four days away from bringing down the curtain on what has been a challenging yet exciting year. And we could not help but notice that Samoa is only four days away, from bringing into effect a nationwide ban, on the use of single plastic bags and straws.
What is the reason for the season? Is it gifts? Parties? Family gatherings? Holidays? The birth of Jesus Christ the saviour? None of these answers are wrong. Depending on whom you ask, all of us will have different answers.
Poor Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. He cannot win this one. As if being an easy target for criticisms for his administration is not enough, his Government’s newest appointment, that of the Chief Executive Officer role of the Ministry of Finance, will only make things even more complicated.
This is an extremely busy time of the year. Beautiful chaos. There is absolutely no doubt about it. What with Christmas a few days away and so many joyful events taking place all over the country – not to mention the last minute Christmas shopping rush - everyone has their hands full.
Let’s face it. Claims of human trafficking and slavery are not the sort of allegations you’d normally associate with this country, let alone someone from this part of the world. The truth is that when these terms are mentioned and thrown around, the mind immediately conjures up images of immigrants in South America, Asia and the Middle East among other places, who are trying to seek refuge from poverty, famine and war.
Two interesting developments in relation to the use or the abuse of social media have emerged this week. The developments are not only a timely intervention, they are absolutely necessary as a reminder to all of us that freedom of opinion and information has its limitations and must be exercised with great care.
Last month, the Chairman of the National Council of Churches, Deacon Kasiano Leaupepe, blamed human rights for the deteriorating state of violence in Samoa.
This much is true. You know Christmas is near when the wet season arrives and everything else it brings – including those potholes. Everywhere. Indeed, it’s that time of the year once more when thousands of Samoans return for the holidays only to be greeted by those gaping potholes as soon as they exit the wonderful Chinese-funded airport at Faleolo.
In a time when the world critically needed leadership by the planet’s biggest carbon emitters, everyone failed to show-up. Vulnerable island states—from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans and to the Caribbean—whose future ironically now lies in the hands of those who couldn’t care less, made emphatic and emotional presentations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC).
How far is a grieving family prepared to go to find closure and justice? If you are anything like the Dalton family, the answer is not only will they go to extreme lengths; they will not take no for an answer. Especially when they believe there is something fishy about the way the case of their loved one has been handled.
Lupesoliai Joseph Parker penned quite an interesting piece this week, ahead of his latest fight against Alexander Flores tonight. Published under the headline “Now I know who’s got my back,” it was quite telling.
The story titled “Thieves steal $15,000 worth of red palms” published on page 2 of yesterday’s Samoa Observer is dreadful. Not only are the actions of the culprit or culprits downright shocking, the idea that they have robbed a hard-working woman—not once but twice—tells a sad story.
Tuesday 12 December 2018 is a day to remember. It was a day many of us who grew up in Samoa thought we would never see. A day when two of the biggest pillars in Samoa, the Church and Government, collided in the corridors of justice sending out a shockwave to the rest of the country with the burning question of what has happened to Samoa?
Who wants the rain? Who wants flooding? Or a natural disaster? No one in Samoa does, especially at this time of the year. It’s a happy time, one where people are generally on a positive buzz for one reason or another.
The writer was invited by UNESCO to speak as one of the panelists during the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last night. Other speakers included Acting Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma and UNESCO Director and Representative to the Pacific State, Ms. Nisha. This is what Mata’afa said:
Dear Editor, Regarding: Business support lifting the minimum wage There you are the good people of the nation! The cracks are starting to appear in the latest claim by the honourable Prime Minister of the country aiming the pendulum to swing the wrong direction.
The Government has in the last two weeks been commissioning hydro power plants on both Upolu and Savai’i as it continues the push to become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2025. Our reporter Yolanda Lavatai went and met members of the public to get their views on the issue.
Think a minute…Have you ever been lost? If you travel to another country for the first time, getting lost can be frustrating and discouraging. Imagine you have just arrived in London, England and want to go to a certain place in that great city.
Now that the New Year celebration is beginning to get old, we may as well look forward to some real problems.
A simple sign will do Samoans who support their national airline, Samoa Airways, want the management to know something.
Lopau Mapuinuumanaia remembers the day his village in southeastern Samoa was torn apart. On 29 September 2009, the 59-year- old farmer was up early planting banana and taro seedlings when he felt the earth shake violently.
© Samoa Observer 2016
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